The Kogi state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor James Apam called on registered voters to visit Pvc collection centres across the state to collect their cards.
Professor Apam who called for the immediate response of registered persons during a press briefing in Lokoja lamented over thousands of voters’ card not collected by voters.
He added that voter registration exercise will be suspended on August 17, 2018 until after general election, while collection of PVCs will continue until one week to the general elections 2019.
The Kogi State government is working with a Brazilian group of companies, enigma to build a sugarcane refinery and plantations in three communities in the state.
The state finance commissioner of Finance Ashiru Asiwaju Idris led other top government officials to guide a visiting team from brazil to inspect the prospective sites.
The visit of the Brazilian company to Kogi state is a fallout of the maiden edition of the Kogi economic and investment summit held earlier this year
The commissioner of finance Ashiru Asiwaju Idris and other government officials say the establishment of sugar-cane plantations and refineries across the state has huge positive economic implications
The representatives of the Kugbani community in Lokoja local government area expressed their preparedness to make their land available.
The visitors expressed their willingness to get started
The state government assured the visitors of the security and safety of their lives, property and investment and expressed hope that this development will mark the beginning of huge investment flows into the state.
Less than three months after Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West, regained freedom from police custody, the Kogi state police command has asked him to report at the state criminal and investigation department in Lokoja, the state capital.
This is in connection with the exchange gunfire between his armed guards and a team of policemen on patrol duty in the state.
A police sergeant who was allegedly shot on the chest is reportedly recuperating in the hospital.
The police asked Melaye to report at the SCIID office in the company of his guards, saying investigation into the shooting is on.
The police said their statement was partly to refute Melaye’s allegation that he was shot at by the police.
The statement said Melaye’s guards opened fire first, while the police responded.
In posts on Instagram, Melaye said the police tried to block his convoy with a grader, parked on a bridge, while he was on his way to Yagba east to commission some projects.
He said his convoy avoided the blockade.
In another Instagram post, the senator representing Kogi west said the state government barricaded the road to stop his movement.
He later took to Twitter to say that an attempt was made on his life during the visit to his state.
He accused men of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) and the military of firing over 20 bullets at his jeep.
“I thank God for spearing my life once again. Over 20 bullets holes on my jeep. Combination of police, SARS and military. God I thank you,” he wrote.
The police statement reproduced below contradicted his account:
“Today, at about 1530hours, a team of policemen from the Command was on a routine Anti – Robbery/Kidnapping patrol along Aiyetoro Gbede – Mopa Road.
“During the patrol, and as it is often the practice, the team pinned down at a point at Iyah Gbede Junction, where they were observing the highway and occasionally conducting Stop and Search.
“It was in this process a long convoy of vehicles coming from Mopa towards Aiyetoro Gbede approached the Point. Officers of the Command at the Point flagged down the convoy. While the lead vehicle, a Toyota Hilux van, which was later discovered to be conveying officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, stopped to introduce themselves, other vehicles in the convoy dangerously zoomed off without regards to the safety of the officers on ground.
“Surprisingly, some plain clothed armed men, occupying a white Toyota Hilux van, without registration number, without provocation fired gunshots at the officers of the Anti-Robbery /Kidnapping Patrol Team.
“One of the officers, a Sergeant, was hit by bullet on the right part of his chest as a result of which he sustained grievous injury.
“The Officer is currently lying critically ill in the hospital where he has undergone a live threatening surgery and currently recuperating.
“Expectedly, the policemen in self defence responded by firing back to repel the unexpected attack. Vehicles in the convoy nevertheless, drove away from the scene. It was not until the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were questioned that it was realised that the convoy was that of Senator Dino Melaye.
“It is rather unfortunate that the Senator could after this dastardly act by his aides, be going around with armed men, unknown to the Command who could launch such a lethal attack on police officers in the course of their normal duty.
“It is more saddening that the Senator could turn around to issue misleading statements to cover up the heinous crime committed by his hired aides.
“While, the command has instituted a high powered investigation panel into the incident, Senator Melaye is hereby advised to report with people in his convoy to the office of the deputy commissioner of police, State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Lokoja to assist in the investigation.”
Kogi state office of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says about two hundred and forty five thousand new persons have been registered as prospective voters in the state as at this June.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Professor James Apam, stated this at a media briefing in Lokoja, capital of Kogi state central Nigeria.
Professor Apam expressed disappointment that out of over one hundred and twelve thousand permanent voters cards printed for kogi state this june, only about seven thousand voters cards have so far been collected in the state.
The electoral Commissioner who spoke of the efforts by the commission to enfranchise all eligible voters in kogi state in line with the mandate of the commission, advised people of Kogi state who applied for voters cards to go to the electoral commission offices in local government areas for the collection of their cards, while those who applied for replacement and inter-state transfer of voters cards will soon be issued their voters cards.
Kogi State Government is determened to support the education of brilliant students, Governor Yahaya Bello said yesterday.
Governor Bello provided scholarship to the tune of $93,000 to Ms.Fatima Bombom Sani, the best graduating student at the 2015 Call to Bar examination of the Nigerian Law School.
Bello, who spoke while receiving Ms. Fatima Sani, her relatives,alongside Bar. Natasha Akpoti at the Kogi State Government House lamented a situation where academic excellence has not been given therequisite reward in Nigeria.
“The case of Fatima Sani reminds me of how academic excellence has notbeen adequately rewarded in Nigeria. Imagine someone that bagged nine separate awards including “Best Student of the Year and Council of Education Star Award, and nothing was done for her since 2015.”
He applauded Akpoti for taking up the case of Fatima Sani. “It was Bar. Natasha Akpoti who sought the intervention of the Kogi State Governor who was not only surprised but disappointed that Fatima was left unsupported while no information was brought to his office concerning her case.
He charged privileged Nigerians to make more contribution to the education of brilliant students.
“I heard about your exceptional performance at the Nigerian Law School in 2015 and assumed you were recognized and sponsored by the administration of the day. It is unacceptable that such brilliance is not celebrated and promoted. Nevertheless, I shall grant you a personal scholarship to celebrate your exceptionality and help your career-defining goals.”
Governor Yahaya Bello stated that after some inquiries and validation of Fatima’s credentials, he in his capacity declared a full scholarship for Fatima to study Masters in Finance Law at the Colombian Law School, in the United States of America.
Bello thanked Natasha Akpoti for her humanitarian efforts in bringing Fatima’s issue while urging Fatima to uphold her academic excellence and make Nigeria proud and return home to serve fatherland. Speaaking, Barr. Akpoti commended Governor Bello for his benevolence and penchant for promoting academic excellence.
“We must celebrate heroes like Fatima in view of motivating young people especially girls towards exceptional educational performances.”
She advised Fatima to go for her studies and come back to contribute her quota to the development of Kogi state and Nigeria Akpoti had on April 27, 2018 via her Facebook page, advocated sponsorship to help Fatima further her academic dreams having emerged as the best graduating student at the 2015 Bar exam where she bagged nine separate awards including “Best Student of the Year and Council of Education Star Award
A group, Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ensuring that the recall exercise of Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, was carried out peacefully and in a free and fair atmosphere.
In a statement signed by Faith Nwadishi, Director of Contact and Mobilisation, she said that although the recall process did not succeed, its outcome clearly reflects the will of members of the constituency and exposes the political motivation of those who instigated the recall process.
The election observer group hinted that it deployed independent field monitors to observe the recall and exercise and commended INEC for allowing the will of the people prevailed in spite of obvious attempts by some politicians to interfere with the process.
“ISDMG deployed independent field monitors to observe the recall exercise. Our observers report that there were attempts by some politicians to induce INEC officials to manipulate the recall process to achieve a pre-determined outcome. But INEC officials remained resolute and resisted the attempts to influence them to rig the exercise in their favor.
“Clearly INEC officials demonstrated determination to ensure a transparent exercise with a credible outcome. This is consistent with the INEC Chairman’s oft-repeated assurances to Nigerians that this INEC is committed to free, fair and credible elections,” the statement partly read.
The group however noted that the outcome of the exercise has not gone down well with some people especially, “those whose selfish and narrow partisan interests have been defeated. Such people who already had their minds made up as to how the exercise should have been conducted and what its outcome should have been are now accusing INEC of failure because the recall of their political adversary failed. We note that INEC would have faced the same accusations from the other side had the outcome been on the reverse.”
It added: “Contrary to wild and frivolous allegations from familiar quarters and from frustrated people who are bent on discrediting and distracting INEC at every opportunity, the conduct of the exercise in Kogi provides an insight into what 2019 will look like. It shows that INEC is getting its acts right. It shows that this INEC cannot be compromised. This is good and necessary for our electoral sanity and our political development.
“We urge fellow Nigerians to remain vigilant and continue to assist INEC in its determination to sanitise our electoral process and ensure a credible general election in 2019. Citizens must continue to participate in and monitor the voter registration process with a view to identifying fake names, pointing out such false identities to INEC.
“This way, we will help INEC in its effort to sanitise the voter register and ensure that 2019, as the INEC Chairman already promised, will be better than 2015.”
Member of the House of Representatives under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Honourable Teejay Yusuf, has disassociate its party from the process to recall Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye.
Yusuf who represents Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency of Kogi state which includes Senator Dino Melaye’s hometown told reporters in Abuja during the weekend that the process is a mere All Progressives Congress (APC) agenda, adding that it is disturbing that a party that promises progressive change is massively rooted in anti-democratic practices and mere manipulations.
Speaking on the allegations and counter allegation that ensued between the Nigerian Police Force and Senator Dino Melaye which led to the hospitalization of the Kogi-born lawmaker, Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen emphasized that the two parties must respect and maintain rule of law.
“As the representative of Senator Dino Melaye in the Green Chamber, it is expedient that I advise the Nigerian Police Force to ensure that they exhibit the highest degree of fairness, equity, sincerity and justice in addition to respecting the rule of law in this matter.
“As a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as a Senator, Senator Dino Melaye has fundamental human rights and the police must strive to acknowledge this,” Hon Teejay Yusuf said.
Counseling both the police and the Senator to explore some measure of compromise, he urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotum Idris to ensure that his men do not maltreat the Senator.
“I specifically appeal to the Inspector General of Police to do everything within the ambit of law and in good conscience to ensure that his officers and men do not do anything illegal or immoral which have the potential to further compound the strained relationship between the National Assembly and Nigerian Police Force,” he added.
Senator Dino Melaye, lawmaker representing Kogi West at the National Assembly, may again be in another mess as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Wednesday in Lokoja, announced that it will conduct the signature verification exercise for his recall in seven local councils on Saturday.
Addressing media in Lokoja, during the “Stakeholders Meeting on the Process of the Recall (Verification) of the Senator Representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Kogi State”, the INEC National Commissioner Supervising Kogi, Kwara and Nassarawa states, Mohammed Haruna, assured that the electoral body has no interest in the process, other than to ensure that the process is followed through as spelt out by the law.
“INEC has absolutely no interest in who wins or loses”, he explained.
He urged all concerned to adhere strictly with the laid down process as spelt out by the laws guiding the process.
Highlighting the process so far undertaken, the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. James Apam, explained that more than 50 percent of the constituents of the senatorial district, “plus at least one person”, must affirm that their signature or thumbprint must be verified by INEC national n the 560 polling units in the Kogi West Senatorial district.
According to him, the process will be undertaken across the 560 wards of Kogi West, between 8am and 2pm on Saturday.
He said that the Card Reader Machine will be employed for the exercise, adding that those who did not append the recall petition in the first instance, cannot partake, while polling units where malfunction is experienced, will be cancelled and/or redone, if the number involved will substantially affect the outcome.
“All I want to tell you is that we are ready to commence on April 28, from 8am-2pm, in the seven LGAs of the senatorial district. What we are doing is in compliance with what the law says”, he explained.
He added that applications from local observers will be entertained in Lokoja, the state capital, till Friday, April 27, 2018.
Outcome of the signature verification exercise is expected to be made public on the following day (Sunday, April 29, 2018).